A cDNA encoding the murine cyclin B2 (cycB2) was isolated from an adult mouse testis cDNA library as part of studies designed to identify cyclins involved in murine germ cell development. This cycB2 cDNA was then used to examine the pattern of cycB2 expression during male and female germ cell development and in early embryogenesis, and to compare this expression with the previously characterized expression of cycB1. A single 1.7 kb cycB2 transcript was detected by northern blot hybridization analysis of total RNA isolated from midgestation embryos and various adult tissues. Northern blot and in situ hybridization analyses revealed that cycB2 expression in the testis was most abundant in the germ cells, specifically in pachytene spermatocytes. This is in contrast to the highest levels of expression of cycB1 being present in early spermatids. In situ analysis of the ovary revealed cycB2 transcripts in both germ cells and somatic cells, specifically in the oocytes and granulosa cells of growing and mature follicles. The pattern of cycB1 and cycB2 expression in ovulated and fertilized eggs was also examined. While the steady state level of cycB1 and cycB2 signal remained constant in oocytes and ovulated eggs, signal of both appeared to decrease following fertilization. In addition, both cycB1 and cycB2 transcripts were detected in the cells of the inner cell mass and the trophectoderm of the blastocyst. These results demonstrate that there are lineage- and developmental-specific differences in the pattern of the B cyclins in mammalian germ cells, in contrast to the co-expression of B cyclins in the early conceptus.

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